A judge has denied a defense motion for a mistrial in the case of three men charged with murdering six people in Deltona in a revenge killing over an Xbox.
Defense attorneys had objected to the refusal of the prosecution's star witness to answer most questions in court.
Robert Cannon, 20, pleaded guilty in October to the killings but refused Thursday to testify against the three others charged in the slayings. Cannon proclaimed he wants to withdraw his plea because he is innocent.
The plea deal would have spared Cannon a possible death sentence.
"I want to say to the court that the Lord has touched me, and the Lord has said 'Do not do man's will, but do God's will,'" Cannon said from the stand Thursday. "I'm sorry I cannot make this testimony here today because I'm not guilty."
Michael Nielsen, who represents lead suspect Troy Victorino, said Cannon's limited testimony had prejudiced his client because he put "facts into the case" that were not in evidence.
State Attorney John Tanner said he had expected Cannon to testify and that his refusal "was a total surprise."
In addition to Victorino, 29, Michael Salas and Jerone Hunter, both 20, face six counts of first-degree murder, five counts of mutilating a dead human body and other felonies. The state said they will seek the death penalty for all three if they are convicted.
The victims were Erin Belanger, 22; Michelle Nathan, 19; Francisco Ayo-Roman, 30; Anthony Vega, 34; Roberto Gonzalez, 28; and Jonathan Gleason, 17. Most were co-workers at a Burger King in Deltona.
Investigators said Victorino became angry when Belanger took his Xbox and some clothing from her grandparents' vacant home where he had been squatting, and the killings were an act of revenge.
In denying the request for a mistrial, Circuit Judge Bill Parsons said Cannon's refusal to testify against the three defendants actually should work in their favor.
When the trial resumed Friday, the jury heard a 911 call Belanger made five days before the murders. She was calling police to report she was being harassed by the defendants.
Jurors were also shown pictures of Victorino inside a convenience store the day before the killings. Photo technician Jane Colalillo testified that she made still images from a surveillance camera, focusing on Victorino and his Lugz boots. Prints from those boots were reportedly found throughout the crime scene.
Additional testimony dealt with evidence collected from Cannon's white Ford Expedition, which prosecutors allege was driven to the crime scene and a home where Victorino and Hunter were staying.
Inside the car authorities found a Lugz boot box filled with certificates and documents belonging to Victorino and Navy blue pants with a Burger King logo. Five of the six victims worked for Burger King.
Volusia County crime scene investigator Charles Dowell said under cross examination that he did not know how the box got into the back of Cannon's SUV.
Four baseball bats found by Volusia County divers in a retention pond in DeBarry were introduced into evidence. After they were found, they were wrapped in brown paper and placed in white packing tubes. The jury did not see the bats, only the paper wrapping.
The six victims were stabbed and beaten with baseball bats.
Volusia County Sheriff's Office investigator, Lt. Albert Pagliari said some sunglasses were found inside the car, which he fingerprinted. They reportedly belonged to one of the victims.
- July 13, 2006: Star Witness In Alleged Xbox Slayings 'Can Say No More'
- July 12, 2006: Prosecutor Details 6 Grisly Slayings In 'Xbox Murder Trial'
- July 5, 2006: St. Johns Jurors Being Chosen To Hear Xbox Murder Trial
- April 10, 2006: Judge Rules Suspect In Deltona Slayings Competent To Stand Trial
- April 10, 2006: Trial Of Six In 'X-Box' Murders Starts Today
- March 2, 2006: Judge Says Deltona Slayings Trial Will Remain In Volusia County
- March 24, 2005: Judge Seals Crime Scene, Autopsy Photos From Deltona Massacre
- February 21, 2005: Accused Ringleader In Deltona Slayings Says He Was Passed Out
- January 7, 2005: Witness In Deltona Slayings Says He Wants to Testify At Trial
- September 29, 2004: Deltona House Where 6 Were Killed Is Up For Sale
- September 14, 2004: Last Of 4 Accused In Deltona Slayings Pleads Not Guilty
- August 9, 2004: Men Accused In Brutal Slayings Denied Bond
- August 7, 2004: Six People Found Dead In Deltona Home